Why Diversity and Multi-Culturalism Matter
by Stephanie B. Whitney,
Mead Trustee & Former Head of School
Transformative, global changes have taken place during our children’s lifetimes, and will continue to accelerate throughout their lives.
According to www.Quora.com, “there are seven major types of globalization: Financial, Economic, Technological, Political, Cultural, Ecological, and Sociological.” Globalization is defined by Merriam Webster as, “the integration of national economies through trade, investment, capital flow, labor migration, and technology.” Thomas Friedman, in The World is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, 2005, illustrated that there are 10 forces that have flattened the world: “The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Netscape IPO, Work Flow software, Open Sourcing, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Supply Chaining, In-sourcing, Informing and Wireless.”
We feel and see the effects every day; at the grocery store, on television, at the movies, at the gas pump, and in our government, neighborhoods and schools. Our children are “digital natives”, and are exposed to a daily onslaught on their senses. The world is at their fingertips, quite literally, and we need to prepare them for the world that is being re-imagined on a daily basis.
Mead School’s commitment requires our community to not only be conscious of our choices, but to continuously reflect on them. It compels us to be completely open with each other. This is hard work, and it is never done.
Mead School students develop the skills to appreciate, understand, and celebrate the differences and similarities in each of us, and the Mead School faculty has prioritized delivering a curriculum that is non-biased and aware - - - a genuine multicultural education.
During their studies of Immigration & Human Rights, Comparative World Religions, water and its usage in third world countries, and Language Arts literature, students are pushed, prodded and pulled through essential questions of our time. The goal is always to find commonalities, recognize the differences and lean into discussions that promote cultural understanding and appreciation.
Mead’s Diversity Mission Statement guides our actions, and reads:
The Mead School is dedicated to developing and nurturing a diverse community. We seek to create a school culture and curriculum that cultivates open minds, recognizes similarities and honors differences, and includes a diversity of perspectives. We want our students to develop an understanding of themselves in relation to their community and the world, and to empower them to use the Seven School Skills [Receive, Act, Respect, Intuit, Think, Imagine, Express] to affect change.
Winston Churchill, in his address to the House of Commons in 1948 said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
Mead School is committed to ensuring our students are ready for the future, by learning from the past… and understanding the present.